Camera Test: Canon PowerShot S5 IS

In a market driven by superlatives, is a functional compact EVF that's not the "most something" worth a second look?


This image is very sharp though colors have a bluish atmospheric tint. The image was underexposed but corrected using auto levels in Photoshop. 1/160 f/3.5 @ ISO 100


This image shows shallow depth of field and good exposure. Shadows detail is good at a low ISO and image appears sharp with good color balance considering very hazy conditions. 1/60 f/3.5 @ ISO 100


This image was underexposed using the camera’s meter without exposure bias and correcting exposure in Photoshop results in a visible increase in noise. The image was soft as well and mild sharpening was applied. 1/400 f/3.5 @ ISO 200


This twilight image shows visible barrel distortion at the camera’s widest focal length — those skyscrapers don’t tilt like that! 1/100 f/3.5 @ ISO 80


The image is sharp despite the slow shutter speed and long focal length used. Contrast was increased in Photoshop. Noise is Moderate on the S5 IS at ISO 200. 1/80 f/3.5 @ ISO 200


This image shows good depth of field even at the camera’s widest aperture — details in the foreground and background as well appear tack sharp. 1/80 f/3.5 @ ISO 80


Colors and exposure are accurate for the subtle tones of the scene. Notice the slight edge vignetting at maximum aperture at mid-zoom. 1/250 f/3.5 @ ISO 80


This is a good exposure of a subtle scene in hot, hazy conditions at long reach. 1/250 f/3.5 @ ISO 80


Colors and exposure are accurate in this water action scene. There’s a bit of noise at ISO 200 with the S5 IS, especially when viewed at 100%. Details are sharp even before slight sharpening was applied. 1/200 f/3.5 @ ISO 200


Exposure is accurate in this multi-layered image. The element towards the bottom right is sharp in the original file while sharpening was applied to enhance detail in the image’s other elements. 1/160 f/3.5 @ ISO 200


This image shows good color and proper exposure with the camera metering off the sky. Shadow detail is good on Miss Liberty, but the darker boat elements are a bit blocked up. 1/250 F/3.5 @ ISO 80


The image was muddy before contrast was increased using Photoshop but now there’s nice, if noisy shadow details on the statue and nice pink hues in the twilight sky. 1/400 f/3.5 @ ISO 200


Vignetting is visible in this image as well, though most prominent in the upper left hand corner. The meter-fooling sails resulted in a slightly underexposed capture that was corrected in Photoshop. 1/200 f/3.5 @ ISO 200


This image shows good exposure and colors are accurate in this low-key scene. 1/100 f/3.5 @ ISO 200